Tulip bulbs

Asked May 18, 2017, 10:04 PM EDT

I received a pot of tulips for Mothers Day. They have bloomed and the blooms are spent. I have dead headed the blooms. Is it possible to plant the tulips in my garden now or to plant the bulbs later? If I can save the bulbs how shall I store them from now to fall?

Hennepin County Minnesota

2 Responses

Bulbs from bulb gardens are "forced" meaning they have been placed in artificial conditions that simulate cold treatment (winter). When they are then placed in a warm greenhouse, they are promoted to bloom. Here's an Extension publication on forcing bulbs. http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/houseplants/forcing-bulbs-for-indoor-beauty-in-winte...

As you can read from this publication, bulbs that are forced are not likely to bloom again even if they are planted outside. However, there's no harm in trying! Plant them in a sunny location as soon as possible . Water them and allow the leaves to die back naturally (i.e. Don't cut them off as they are responsible for generating energy for next year's blooms). Be sure to label where you plant to avoid digging them up in the future.

Thanks so much!